Smocks v USA
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER. It is therefore ORDERED that Petitioner's action is TRANSFERRED to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C., for further proceedings in accordance with the rules of that district. Signed by District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III on 11/17/2022. (baf, )
Case 4:22-cv-00838-ALM-KPJ Document 11 Filed 11/17/22 Page 1 of 2 PageID #: 117
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
IN RE: TROY A. SMOCKS
CIVIL ACTION NO. 4:22cv838
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
The above-entitled and numbered civil action, entitled “Emergency Petition for Writ of
Prohibition” (Dkt. #1), was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Kimberly C. Priest Johnson.
In this case, Petitioner is challenging the legality of the conditions imposed for supervised release
in his conviction for Threats in Interstate Communications, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. § 875(c).
See United States v. Smocks, No. 1:21cr198-TSC, (D.C. Ct. Dec. 3, 2021).
On October 21, 2022, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation (Dkt. #8)
in which she recommended that the case be transferred to the United States District Court for the
District of Columbia, Washington, D.C., as it is the court that sentenced Petitioner after he pled
guilty, and it establishes the conditions for supervised release. Petitioner timely filed objections
(Dkt. #9), complaining that the Magistrate Judge failed to “give consideration to established federal
law which controls the purpose of Prohibition and the authority vested in a district judge by Article
III, to the Constitution of the United States to issue the writ.” (Dkt. #9, p. 1).
Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and must have statutory or constitutional
power to adjudicate a claim. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)
(citations omitted). A federal court must presume that an action lies outside its limited jurisdiction,
Case 4:22-cv-00838-ALM-KPJ Document 11 Filed 11/17/22 Page 2 of 2 PageID #: 118
and the burden of establishing that the court has subject matter jurisdiction to entertain an action
rests with the party asserting jurisdiction. Id. Petitioner fails in this regard. In short, because
Petitioner was sentenced in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and the
sentencing court retains jurisdiction to modify conditions of supervised release, this Court cannot
offer Petitioner any relief.1 See, e.g., United States v. Johnson, 529 U.S. 53, 54 (2000) (“The trial
court, as it sees fit, may modify an individual’s conditions of supervised release.”); see also Herndon
v. Upton, 985 F.3d 443, 447 (5th Cir. 2021) (absent a transfer of jurisdiction over a prisoner’s term
of supervised release, only the sentencing court has authority to modify the terms of a prisoner’s
Having conducted a de novo review and considered Petitioner’s objections, the Court
concludes that the findings and conclusions of the Magistrate Judge are correct, and adopts the same
as the findings and conclusions of the Court.
It is therefore ORDERED that Petitioner’s action is TRANSFERRED to the United
States District Court for the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C., for further proceedings in
accordance with the rules of that district.
SIGNED this 17th day of November, 2022.
AMOS L. MAZZANT
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
The Court notes that Petitioner has filed several motions including “Emergency Motion for Oral Hearing on
Motion to Construe Relator’s Emergency Petition for Writ of Prohibition as an Application for Preliminary Injunction
with Expediant Consideration” (Dkt. #10). Because the Court lacks jurisdiction over this case, it declines to rule on any
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